hiro.jpg (49640 bytes)    Thanks to Ng's instructions on how to better operate Reason, Hiro carves his way through the Core ships until he arrives at an old oil tanker, across from the hull of the Enterprise.

        "The hull of the Enterprise is surprisingly tough. Reason doesn't just blow a crater straight through; it takes a few moments for the burst to penetrate. And then all it does is make a hole about six inches across. The recoil pushed Hiro back against the rusted hull of the oil tanker.

        "He can't take the gun with him anyway. He holds the trigger down and just tries to keep it aimed in a consistent direction until all the amunition is gone. Then he unstraps it from his body and dumps the whole thing overboard. It'll go to the bottom and mark it's position with a column of steam; later, Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong can dispatch one of its environmental direct-action posses to pick it up. Then they can haul Hiro before the Tribunal of Environmental Crimes, if they want to. Right now he doesn't care.

        "It takes half a dozen tries to secure the grappling hook in the jagged hole, twenty feet above the waterline.

        "As he's wriggling through the hole, his coverall makes poopping and hissing noises as the hot, sharp metal melts and tears through the synthetic material. He ends up leaving scraps of it behind, welded to the hull. He's got a few first- and second-degree burns on the parts of his skin that are now exposed, but they don't really hurt yet. That's how wound up he is..."

     As he reaches the main launch deck of the Raft, Hiro sees several choppers on the ground, but more importantly, Rife's personal transport is rising steadily overhead, clearly preparing to head for the California coastline. He fires a couple of warning shots to get their attention.

        "You're a dead man," Rife shouts. "You're stuck on this Raft, asshole. I got a million Myrmidons here. You gonna kill 'em all?"

        "Swords won't run out of ammo," Hiro shouts.... "Give me the tablet," Hiro says, "or I'm taking it."

        "No you ain't," Rife says, "cause I got Tinkerbell here."

        At the last minute, Y.T. tries to duck down and hide, so he won't see her. She's ashamed. But Hiro locks eyes with her for just a moment, and she can see the defeat in his face.

        Luckily for Hiro, no shots are needed to secure the tablet, thanks to Y.T.; before he even has time to react, a package drops from the chopper.

        "It's about the dimensions of a phone book, but irregular, very heavy, swaddled in bubble pack and clear plastic...Light reddish brown in color. Covered with chicken scratches. Hard as a rock."

 

To retrieve the tablet and continue with Hiro's adventures, please keep reading.

Or, you could hop aboard Rife's chopper and ride with Y.T. to California.

I wonder what Fido would say about all of this.

Gosh, that fourteen-page explanation of the plot was so good, I think I have to go back and read it again!